Nantucket

 

As children, as friends, Ahab and I grew up 

On the weather side of Nantucket,

Frequenting the wharves and churches

Of whalery. That our paths led to the sea

Was determined by our heritage, by our locale,

By our inclinations, by hard-bitten necessity.

Ahab's captaincy was hard won, familial

Influence marginal. He worked his way

From before the mast to the quarterdeck 

In slow and difficult steps. Once there

He stood proudly, and what was to befall him

Was not even a moonraker on the horizon. 

He married and sired, as did I, but I

Gave up the sea, took to crops, fool that I am.

When I heard of Moby Dick, and the wraith

And wreck that had become Ahab, I mourned,

Mourned for a lost friend, for he was gone.

His obsession is well documented, no need

To repeat what is known, there is only this to say—

He was loved. He was loved as a husband,

As a father, as a friend, and briefly, as a captain.

That spermaceti and rendered oil brought his death,

And the death of the crew that bid his will,

Seems unfair trade. Yet, there was nothing

Unique in his death, only his passion in seeking it.

 

 





Poetry by jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 69 times
Written on 2018-04-10 at 05:48

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Nicely done. Ahab acquires a context, and becomes domesticated.
2018-04-11


Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
This is a very artful poem. How well you personalized and brought together the two characters, one real, one fiction, and you managed to rationalize Ahab's actions whcih have been the subject of so much discussion by scholars. Beautiful work!
Ashe
2018-04-10


Bibek
Been contemplating about this poem for some time. Excellent to see how you poeticized the fictional world. Are you Ishmael, the narrator?
2018-04-10